Fast-food paychecks: N.Y. minimum wage increase OK'ed by review board


Fast-food paychecks: N.Y. minimum wage increase OK'ed by review board

The New York Industrial Board of Appeals rejected the National Restaurant Association’s arguments that increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour was unconstitutional. The restaurant association had argued that the wage order was unconstitutional, arbitrary, unsupported by the evidence and focused improperly on fast-food chains with more than 30 locations. The association said it plans to take its case to court. Meanwhile, board members concluded that fast-food chains with 30 or more restaurants nationally are “better equipped to absorb a wage increase due to greater operational and financial resources and brand recognition.” The industrial board, whose members are appointed by the governor, said it was authorized only to determine whether the administration’s actions were lawful under New York’s labor statutes.

We find nothing in the statute to prohibit [the labor commissioner] from issuing a minimum wage order that classifies employees based on the number of locations their employers are affiliated with.

Ruling by the New York Industrial Board of Appeals

New York’s minimum wage will rise to $9 an hour on Dec. 31 for most workers under state law. About 200,000 fast-food chain employees will see their minimums rise then to $10.50 an hour in New York City and $9.75 elsewhere under the commissioner’s order. Their wages will rise after that in three annual increments to $15 by the end of 2018 in New York City and in six increments to $15 by July 1, 2021, across the rest of the state.

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